Hanna approaches, Ike strengthens, and Josephine weakens

| 9/4/2008

While power outages and other problems are still affecting Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi from Hurricane Gustav, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other relief groups could soon find themselves dealing with three other storms.

All eyes are turning to the Atlantic and the next storm in line: Tropical Storm Hanna. As of Thursday afternoon, Sept. 4, the governors of Virginia and North Carolina had declared states of emergency as Hanna headed toward the Atlantic coast, where it could bring high winds and rain from South Carolina all the way to Maine.

Meanwhile, hot on Hanna’s heels is Hurricane Ike, which quickly reached Category 4 strength on Wednesday and was on track to make landfall in the Bahamas by Sunday morning.

Forecasters say Ike could lose some strength in that time, but was likely to regain Category 4 status by Monday. It’s too soon to tell exactly where Ike will go, but the latest forecasts put it anywhere north of Jamaica to the southern tip of Florida by Monday morning.

Forecasters are also keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Josephine, spinning way out in the central Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center said Thursday that it was too early to predict Josephine’s course, but the storm is weakening slightly and may even dissipate altogether before reaching land.